The Basics of Chalkboard Lettering

Learn a new hobby with the help of these quick tips


Have you always been fascinated with beautiful pieces featuring lovely letterings and quotes written artistically? You may want to try your hand at lettering and calligraphy. Cosmopolitan Philippines' art director, Hazel Malagonio discussed a few basics during this years RL Space at Avida Towers Centera.

Lettering and Calligraphy

Lettering is the art of drawing letters. It involves crafting letterforms to create a unique typographic image. Calligraphy, on the other hand, is the art of writing beautifully featuring classic script styles.

Quick tips when starting:

  • Feel free to experiment

There is no right or wrong way when it comes to writing or drawing letterforms. Exercise your creativity and see how you can best express yourself.

  • Explore different materials

Are you more comfortable with pen and paper or do you prefer chalkboards? Try them all and see which material you prefer the most.

  • Develop your own unique style

Do you love writing in script or are you leaning toward serif fonts? Check out the works of other artists for inspiration.

  • Take note of contrast, weight, and mood when combining typefaces.

Review different fonts online and do your research on the different combinations that you can do. Visit Pinterest for suggestions! There are also design sites that offer ideas.

Photos from

Hands-on Activity

Work on your first lettering project with this easy activity! 


  • Chalk
  • 1/8 illustration board
  • Pencil and sharpener
  • Eraser/rag
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Ruler


  1. Choose the type that you want to work with: serif, sans serif, or script.
  2. Finalize the phrase or wording that you want to chalk. It can be your favorite quote or lyrics.
  3. Sketch how you want it to be laid out and decide which words need to be emphasized.
  4. Season your chalkboard. Do this by using the side of your chalk to shade your board. Start shading vertically then do it again horizontally. Once done, erase the chalk using the rug.
  5. Draft your layout on the board—starting from the center going outwards.
  6. Chalk your sketch starting from the top.
  7. Add embellishments such as ribbons, banners, lines, borders, and buntings.

Once done, make sure you remove extra dust before displaying your work at home.

To see more of Hazel's work, visit

Photo by @yeyitsjunnel.

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